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Who Are We and What Do We Do?

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society is a Pennsylvania not for profit Corporation. As stated in Article I, Section 2 of our Bylaws, the Corporation shall exist for the purpose of preservation of tangible artifacts of history concerning the B&O Railroad Company; the furtherance of historical research into the history of the B&O Railroad Company; education of the public in the history, purpose and social benefits of railroading with emphasis on the role of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company; to encourage the publication of writings concerning the history, development, economic impact, social impact, and operations of American railroads with emphasis on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company; and for such other charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or other corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law); and not for the pecuniary gain or profit, incidental or otherwise, of its members. Our Bylaws provide the foundation for our Society, and a listing of the duties of each of our Officers and Directors. Each year, we have an election. At that time, two of our 6 Director positions are up for reelection. Also, each of our Officer positions are also up for reelection each year. New blood is vitally important to the continued success of any organization. Each of our members are encouraged to consider running for one of the positions up for election. Notice of our elections, along with a ballot listing candidates, are provided in the quarterly mailings of our magazine, The Sentinel. For a current listing of Society Officers and Directors, as well as other contact information, please see our Contacts link.

Throughout its 180 plus years, the B&O Railroad enjoyed a rich and varied corporate life. It was America's first common carrier railroad and survived to become one of the world's oldest railroad companies. This was made possible through a combination of skill, foresight, and ingenuity. Along the way, the B&O acquired a secure place in the cultural and economic history of the United States. In 1963, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway officially took control of the B&O, beginning what was to become the Chessie System. Formal merger of the two railroads began in 1971, with the Western Maryland Railway being merged into the Chessie System in 1973. In 1980, the Chessie System merged with the Family Lines System to become the CSX Corporation. The CSX Historical Society has an excellent website dedicated to the railroads that make up CSX, specifically those that still had engines in original paint at the time of the merger. There is a whole area dedicated to the B&O and is well worth visiting. Here is a link to the B&O module that should prove enjoyable. There are some additional excellent sites that provide a broad history of the B&O that are located in the Railroad Sites link on the left side of our Home Page

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society exists to help assemble share the history of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The B&O, like railroading everywhere, touched virtually all areas of American life. This diversity is reflected in the more than 1,300 members of our Society: members' interest range from motive power and railroad architecture to modeling and artifact collecting. Most importantly, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information and news, the publication of original research, and for members to simply get to know each other. The fellowship of common interest and the opportunities for mutual assistance are two of the Society's greatest assets. Through the Society, members may participate in various field trips, research projects, equipment restorations, and locally sponsored get-togethers. Each year, the Society holds an Annual Convention, with facility tours, workshops, photo and models shows, displays, and an Annual Membership Meeting and Banquet. Additionally, two regional mini-conferences are held annually, one in the Maryland/Pennsylvania/West Virginia area, and a second in Ohio. The purpose of these mini-conferences is to bring together fans to conduct workshops, listen to presentations by noted B&O historians, and just generally discuss the B&O. A list of some of the future Society events is provided here.

The Society maintains a formal archive function and maintains a small warehouse full of documentation from the Office of the Vice President of Operations and Engineering, B&O Railroad. We are also the custodians of several thousand photographs and blueprints, maps, and drawings. Since 1979, the Society has published a quarterly magazine The Sentinel which is intended to provide articles and news items of historical significance to those interested in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Other publications include reprints of the multitude of B&O documents that have been saved throughout the years; the Society also produces an outstanding calendar each year. The Society also produces a publication The B&O Modeler which is dedicated to modeling B&O equipment and structures.

B&O Railroad Historical Society Corporate Documents


Facts of Historical Significance

From time to time, while performing research for an article for our quarterly magazine, The Sentinel, or other publications, useful but little known information is found that while not used in the document to be published, is of significant value that it should be shared with those interested in the history of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. This area of our web site contains this type of information. Here is some little known but interesting facts. Check back periodically. This list will grow as time permits.


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